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First things first: I'm alive and well and--as far as I know--so are all the people I know here.

Now on to the rest of the story: there was a horrible train wreck in Amagasaki (尼崎), which is pretty close to where I live. It's about halfway between here and Osaka. A JR (Japan Railways) train derailed and crashed into an apartment building, killing 37 people and wounding 239 others (according to the last count I heard today). Kawai-sensei's friend was on the train, but he just ended up with a bad case of whiplash. He was sent on to the hospital with everybody else who was still moving. Check out pictures of the crash--they're pretty amazing. The news crews here have been sending live aerial feeds of the crash site all morning. The driver, a 23-year-old who had only been working for JR for 11 months or so, was behind schedule and decided to make up for lost time by going nearly double the speed limit. The passengers later told reporters that they had started to worry when the train began to really pick up speed (the speed limit is 70kph; the driver was going about 130). The train hit a curve in the tracks which derailed it, sending it plowing through a parked car and into an apartment complex.

It's really horrible, but it could have been worse. Golden Week is coming up, the annual Japanese semi-bacchanalia, and that's the time when EVERYBODY in Japan travels. It's good to avoid places like Kyoto during that time because they're so insanely crowded with people visiting shrines and stuff like that. Anyway, had this accident happened during Golden Week, the first four cars of the train that crashed would have been packed with people, which means a lot more would have died. Also, the fact that it happened means that all the train lines--not just JR--are going to be insanely over-cautious for the next several months. They're going to make checks for checks for checks to make sure that everybody is safe. (Which probably means that trains are going to be running a bit late, but that's nothing new.) Which is good for the rest of us who didn't get killed in today's crash.

Another good thing is that I'm alive and although today was tiring, at least I got to live it. My view of death is twofold: "it's sad that they died" and "holy crap, I'm glad that's not me." It might seem crass, but it's a far cry from my view of it a decade ago. Ten or less years ago, I was screaming at my parents that it was cruel of them to keep me from preventing suicide, to not let me end my pain. Which I honestly believed at the time, and which I had just reason to believe. Thankfully, there are other options beside suicide to end pain. They just take longer.

Ugh, there I go again with the pity-party talk. I've written several entries over the past week or so, but I haven't posted any of them because they all gradually devolved into these weird "I'm mentally ill but happy to be kickin'!" rants that don't deserve to be seen. Long story short: off my anti-anxiety medication (did I say this already?--I can't remember what I have and haven't written, what I have and haven't posted), and ooooooooooh, my goodness, I need to set up another appointment with my shrink here. I'm alive, I'm fairly happy, but I'm not well. Which is sort of hard to get my brain around. How can I be happy and yet have problems? I've mostly associated my illness with depression, but I also have anxiety, and having my depression under control while my anxiety is dancing like the maniac it is is a new experience for me. I'm singing joy with the fire ants in my pants. My head will NOT shut up and my thoughts keep circling and circling and circling and circling. I, I, I, I keep listening to music even when it's not playing and the words are absolutely spilling out of me but they're not very good because I can't concentrate on each one long enough to figure out if it really fits behind the one in front of it or not and people say things to me and I have to stop everyone to understand them and I can't speak in English and I can't speak in Japanese.

Dammit, the pity party riot starts again. Each one of these entries keeps dragging out until it finds and flows into the same vein as the others. Each day is sort of like being drunk except that I can feel the lines in my face pulling down. Maybe I'm more depressed than I thought I was. Maybe I should bump the remeron back up. But the mornings are so much better this way. Nobody above the age of 12 should have to spend more than 10 hours of their day asleep. The dark circles under my eyes are back but at least now I can get up in the morning with time to spare.

ARGH! Okay, I'm just going to stop writing now. It's just like the book "There's A Monster At The End Of This Book." Long story short: glad to be alive. Yippee.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 25th, 2005 06:27 pm (UTC)
Miss you, too, sweetie.
Apr. 27th, 2005 10:44 am (UTC)
I just saw this on the BBC and I noticed Kobe is like right there. Good to hear you weren't taking the train anywhere that day =)
Apr. 27th, 2005 05:47 pm (UTC)
Re: EEP!
Who are you?
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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